EU new initiative aims to improve occupational health

January 10, 2017 8:00 PM

eu_flag_rf123BRUSSELS, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) — The European Commission on Tuesday launched new initiatives aimed at improving occupational health and safety, including protecting workers against work-related cancer.
The Commission said in a statement that it will set exposure limits or other measures for seven cancer-causing chemicals, help businesses in their efforts to comply with health and safety rules and work with members and social partners to remove or update outdated rules within the next two years.

A specific priority of the Commission in the field of occupational safety and health is the fight against cancer.
On May 13, 2016, the Commission proposed measures to reduce exposure of European workers to 13 cancer-causing chemicals. Now the Commission set exposure limits for seven more priority chemicals.

Since 2008, the number of workers who died in an accident at work dropped by almost one fourth, and the percentage of European Union (EU) workers reporting at least one health problem caused or made worse by work decreased by nearly 10 percent, according to the release.

However, it is estimated that about 160,000 Europeans die from illnesses related to their work every year, the release said. Thus, keeping workers safe and healthy in the workplace by safeguarding and updating the high European standards is a top priority.

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